Urges Manti citizens to attend meeting about road closure
An old local debate has recently resurfaced. The Manti City Council has once again offered to sell the portion of 100 East between its intersection with Highway 89 and 400 North to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The city council held a public hearing discussing this topic in October. A hearing that I attended.
It is important for the readers of the Sanpete Messenger to understand the issue. The road in question is bordered only by land owned by the LDS Church. As such, the only function of the road is to shuttle people to and from three bordering properties owned by the church (the Manti Temple, the Family History Center and the Distribution Center). This road essentially acts as a driveway to private property. Yet Manti City continues to pay for the maintenance of this road. Taxpayer dollars are spent to maintain this road.
Manti City has pledged that if this road is sold, the revenue generated from the sale will go towards construction of a new sports complex north of the Manti Cemetery. This much-needed sports complex will bring revenue to the city, unlike the road, which continuously depletes city resources and taxpayer dollars.
Those who oppose the sale of the road feel the sale will restrict religious freedom. Eight days every year religious activists from around the world come to proselyte in conjunction with performances of the Mormon Miracle Pageant. They often engage in religious conversation on the road in question. If the road is sold, they have good reason to assume that their religious activities will be pushed off this street. Yet it is clear that there are more than enough streets in Manti to proselyte on. Many choose to preach on other roads already. We should not be paying to maintain a road that is only used by people who come from outside of Manti and only use the road eight days in a year.
Still, as much as I hope to convince you to support the sale of the road, there is something more important. On Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Manti City Building there will be yet another public hearing. Hopefully, this hearing can close the issue once and for all. I urge those within reach of my words, and with any opinion on the issue, to attend this meeting. There you can express your opinions.
Elias G. Malone